Moonthumb's Fantastical Splinterlands Primer (for complete newbies) [vol. 2.1] - More Card Basics
So, I was reading through some other Splinterlands posts recently and came upon a couple done by @mypathtofire who has made a recent plunge into the Splinterverse. In his posts, he mentioned about how he was confused about a few things as he is learning the game of Splinterlands and it just so happens that a couple of the areas he was having problems with I had completely skipped over in this series, so I have decided to take a few steps back and fill in the holes before proceeding. For the sake of consistency, I am inserting this post between a couple of existing posts, so if you are reading these in order, understand this post was not written in chronological sequence.
Tell Me More About These Cards
The object of this game is to build an army of monsters (up to six) to fight against your opponent's army. Most of these armies will only fight with other monsters from their same "splinter" (group of monsters of the same element [also the same color]). There are two exceptions to this rule. The Neutral splinter (gray) will fight along side any other splinter (unless the ruleset for that battle states otherwise) and the Dragon splinter will allow one other splinter of your choice to join with them in the battle (along with Neutral, of course).
What's a Summoner and Why Do I Need One?
I won't go into the lore behind it, but basically, the Summoner is the leader of your army for that particular battle. You can only have one Summoner for each battle and the Summoner you select determines which monsters can be used. However, the Summoner is different from all of the rest of the cards in battle. First of all, the Summoners do not actually fight in the battle. Like Monsters, different Summoners have different abilities. Unlike Monsters, rather than using these abilities themselves, they give their abilities to other monsters in battle (where applicable). For instance, if the Summoner's ability is +1 Magic, all of your Monsters with a Magic attack has it increased by one. However, if one of your Monsters does not have a Magic attack, it will not get any benefit from the Summoner's ability. Not all Summoner abilities increase the stats of your monsters. If it has a negative ability, it effects your opponent's monsters. You can tell which abilities have been changed because they change color (green for increased and red for decreased).
Here's a couple of things to remember when looking to choose a Summoner...first of all, do you currently have any cards that would be boosted by this Summoner? In the previous example, if you didn't have any Magic cards, there wiuld be no need to getuse Obsidian as your Summoner for this battle. And secondly, the fewer Summoners you have from a specific splinter to choose from, the more versatile they must be to be able to cover every ruleset for that splinter. Also, if you only have one Summoner for a specific splinter and you are playing your Focus splinter, your opponent will know which Summoner you will be using and be able to create an army to counter yours. Other times, the ruleset for your battle may negate the bonus your Summoner provides (in our example, if the ruleset prevents using Magic, this Summoner provides no benefit). Since the Mana Costs for some Summoners is more than others, it the case where your Summoner is not able to use their ability, it is good to have another cheaper one to use (even if it has no abilities - Summoners with no ability generally have a lower Mana Cost which would allow you to have more Mana available to spend on Monsters).
Summoners also determine the maximum level for each monster in your army. The higher the level of your Summoner, the higher the level Monsters you can use. For example, in most cases a level 1 Summoner can use level 1 Common Monsters, level 1 Rare Monsters, level 1 Epic Monsters, and Level 1 Legendary Monsters. But if you increase the Level of the Summoner to level 2, in most cases, your army can now use level 3 Common Monsters, level 2 Rare Monsters, level 2 Epic monsters, and level 1 Legendary monsters. This is just a generality, though, and each Summoner must be checked to see how the Monster levels are effected by increasing the level of the Summoner. You must be aware, however, that there are limits to what level Summoner you can use based on the league level you are fighting in (for example, Bronze can only use Level 1 and Level 2 Summoners. Any higher level Summoners you use in Bronze battles will be reduced to Level 2).
Hopefully, you now see the importance of why you need Summoners and why it is important to increase their level quickly (but only to the maximum level you are able to use in the league in which you are battling). If you increase the level of your Monsters, but do not increase the level of your Summoners, the increase on your Monster is wasted (a level 3 Common Monster fighting with a level 1 Summoner would only fight as a level 1 Monster and not be able to use the additional benefits it received for increasing its level).
How Do I Increase a Card's Level?
This quesion is actually easy and straight forward to answer. To increase the level of any card, you must "combine" it with more of the same card (regardless of whether it is a Summoner or a Monster). Let's take a look at a card to deelve a bit deeper into this process:
As you can see, I own several copies of this card of various Levels (the first column after the checkboxes). The second column (BCX) is the number of cards that have been combined to create this card. The third column (Next Level) shows how many BCX will have to be added to this card in order to increase it to the next level and how many have already been applied toward achieving that goal. We'll skip over the Status column for now because it does not apply to this topic. The Card ID column is just a unique identifier for the card. Since this cards are NFTs, even though they may look the same, they are all unique. The Est. Value is just a calculation based on the value of a 1 BCX card multiplied times the number of BCX (number of cards it took to create that card). And finally the POWER is what that card contributes toward your CP (the number that is used to determine your maximum league level). Again, this number is calculated by multiplying the POWER of a 1 BCX card times the number of BCX used to generate that card.
In terms of this discussion, we are most interested in the first three columns. For the level 3 card to utilize its maximum benefits, in most cases you must use it with a level 2 Summoner. To use a Level 2 Summoner, you must be fighting in at least a Bronze Level match. These same requirements would be in effect for a level 2 copy of this card as well, but a Level 1 version could be used with a Level 1 Summoner in any league. The caveate being that when you select a card in battle, it always uses your highest level copy of the card (even if the upgraded benefits cannot be used). In battle, however, it will just show up as the highest level version that you can used for that fight.
Now, about combining...If I wanted to increase my Level 3 version of this card to Level 4, the Next Level column indicates I would need an additional 16 BCX added to this card and I have not added anything toward that total yet. If we add up the BCX of all of the remaining versions I have of this card (5 + 5 + 1 + 1) you see I only have 12, so I will need to acquire four more 1 BCX versions of this card (or one 4 BCX version or any combination that adds up to 4 BCX) to complete the upgrade to Level 4. To combine the cards, just click the check box next to the cards you want to combine and click on the "Combine" button.
Well, that's probably enough to chew on at one time. I'll cover some of the abilities you see in the lower level leagues (Novice, Bronze, and Silver) in Vol 2.2 and how they effect your cards. And if I have time, I might go into how some cards benefit other cards when you play them together.
I would love to hear about your experiences and how you are progressing. I also welcome any questions you might have or requests for clarifications on anything from any of my posts. Just leave me a comment below.
Stay tuned for more Moonthumb's Fantastical Splinterlands Primer coming soon. I look forward to meeting you on the Splinterlands battlefield in the coming days.
To learn more, you can read the next post in this series.
If you missed any of the previous volumes of this series, you can find a link here:
- Moonthumb's Fantastical Splinterlands Primer (for complete newbies) [vol. 1] - Setting up an account and getting a Spellbook
- Moonthumb's Fantastical Splinterlands Primer (for complete newbies) [vol. 2] - Basic information about cards